Van Dam Catnip is the Cat’s Art Deco Meow
As non-automotive vehicles go, few are sexier than wood-hulled powerboats. And few firms build new wood boats that are sexier than the ones coming from the Boyne City, Michigan factory of Van Dam. The company – which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year – has made an art of turning timber into gorgeous engine- and wind-driven vessels, and its latest masterpiece, the curiously-named Catnip, is no exception.
Designed to evoke the Art Deco period, the Catnip’s 30’ long hull features a dramatically sloping and tapering stern, as well as a 5-person cockpit chock full of dials, bezels, switches and other parts that wouldn’t look at all out of place in a 1930s Chris Craft wooden boat. However, the twin variable-valve-timing-equipped 6.0L Ilmor MV8 engines providing a combined 770 horsepower and 822 lb.-ft of torque are most definitely modern. In fact, they can push Catnip up to speeds in excess of 60 knots, though every second you spend there will eat into the 150 mile cruising range on a full tank. Then again, you’d never want to cross an ocean in this beauty even if it did have the range…